Rural Missouri - October 2017 - 25
photos by Heather Berry and Zach Smith
The Hurt-Man Rescue, for example, simulates getting an injured lineman to
the ground safely. Should a contestant drop a tool without yelling "headache,"
or ties the wrong knot, points come off.
Journeymen lineworkers faced a similar set of challenges. But instead of
tying knots, they had to re-fuse an underground transformer, something that
sets this lineman rodeo apart from the national competition.
"This one consists of climbing events, long-stick events and underground
events," Craig explains. "The lineman rodeo in Bonner Springs is typically all
climber events. We are trying to make ours a more well-rounded event that
includes all of the facets of what a lineman does, from overhead to underground to the use of hotline tools."
Those competing in the individual events also can take part in the team
competition. There are two events that require all three team members to take
part. One required them to change out a transformer after ﬁrst installing line
covers. The other had them grounding the line while changing insulators.
Then each team member had to take part in an individual event in the journeyman category, declaring at registration which one they would do.
Some of the contestants were veterans of past International Lineman's
Rodeos, which will be held this year on Oct. 14. This event has been held for
34 years. It brings linemen from all parts of the electric utility industry around
planning to compete headed south instead to help restore power in Florida
the world to Bonner Springs for bragging rights in a number of categories. The
Missouri event offered a warm up for those headed to the bigger
Still, Craig called the ﬁrst year a big success. "Overall, I was happy until
the hurricane happened," he says. "With the hurricane and this being
For others, this was their ﬁrst rodeo. "It would be safe to say
our ﬁrst year, I am satisﬁed."
half of them had never done this before," Craig says.
Lineworker Brian Robbins of Barry Electric Cooperative will be
Tim Gilbert participated in the team event with his Boone Electraveling to Bolivia in 2018 and participated in the rodeo. "This
tric Cooperative coworkers. No stranger to international work, Tim
reinforces safety," he says. "The more you do it the safer you are. A
enjoyed his trips to electrify parts of Haiti so much that he will travel
lot of times we do this stuff it's the middle of the night in terrible
to Bolivia in December. "It's neat to train people and help them out,"
conditions. This helps it become second memory."
he says. "When we work a storm here, we're getting people's lights
Besides providing a challenging test of skills for those taking
back on, and of course they're not happy when they're out. When
part, the event managed to raise $24,800 for the international
you go abroad, you're turning lights on for the ﬁrst time. It's amazing
effort, thanks in large part to 32 sponsors and a rafﬂe. "We
pretty much doubled our goal," Craig said. "I can't thank our
The event drew eight teams, along with 11 journeyman linemen and eight
sponsors enough for their generosity toward this inaugural year. It's
apprentices. Hurricane Irma hurt the attendance a bit when several of those
only going to grow from here."
Top: Retired training instructor Darrell Cuppy offers advice to Derek Cole, Brandon Heck
and Adam Beck from West Central Electric. Above: Barry Electric's Brian Robbins signals his
teammate during an exercise. His team took third place while teammate Tim Thompson won the
journeyman category. Clay Nolte from Boone Electric won the apprentice contest.
Top right: Barry Electric's Drew Crain demonstrates his Hurt-Man Rescue skills as part of the
ﬁrst-ever Lineman's Rodeo held at the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives statewide
training facilities located in Jefferson City. Above: As it is with everything linemen do, safety is
stressed during the rodeo. This bag carries a reminder to wear gloves.
OCTOBER 2017 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - October 2017
Rural Missouri - October 2017 - Intro
Rural Missouri - October 2017 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - October 2017 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - October 2017 - Contents
Rural Missouri - October 2017 - 4
Rural Missouri - October 2017 - 5
Rural Missouri - October 2017 - 6
Rural Missouri - October 2017 - 7
Rural Missouri - October 2017 - 8
Rural Missouri - October 2017 - 9
Rural Missouri - October 2017 - 10
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Rural Missouri - October 2017 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - October 2017 - Cover4